Fran Humber writes “For six years Blue Ventures has been working with the Vezo communities of southern and western Madagascar to collect data on shark landings. Training and employing a network of community-based data collectors has enabled us to gather comprehensive data on the traditional shark fishery across hundreds of km of remote coastline. The programme has also employed the use of the digital cameras in order to provide a visual record of shark landings in each village, to help with ID, and provide a means to verify data.
However, the delay in data from the field to researchers can range from 2 to 6 months. It is this delay, and seeing the rapid expansion of the mobile phone network in Madagascar, that led us to wonder whether we could use smartphones to collect fisheries data and reduce the delay in receiving information from the field.”